Cruinthe’s an interesting asteroid I’ve been archiving for several seasons with several astrological friends. We’re rather excavating new ground regarding its meaning in our natal charts, therefore its meaning in the charts of strangers we don’t know, but share within the cyber-academy of new astrology. Traditionalists don’t really cater to the wasted effort we devote to excavating these runes. Cruinthe harkens to my known history via the biographical evidence, and to my equally relevant interests in antiquities that are far flung afield from mere chronological details. Why do I dream of Belgium and Spain and Haiti ? These are the more interesting artefacts of a life lived deeply, resonantly in other eras and in other geographies via enigmatic connections to music and art and landscapes that don’t compute with the family ledger. But in some certain ways, all do combine to the histrionics of our most recent memory, literally divulged to us by our elders or chapters in textbooks that somewhat, but never quite, hit our nails on the head.
My Cruinthe is an ice princess thawed in recent generations to recall its be-ing in the tropics of Cancer; in the panicked fright of one who must leave ice cold and snow to some ancient tanning ground. Some place far-flung from a misty tour around a green Irish glen into a history equally rivenned with violence, and as equally obscured from memory as the fairy tales one’s parents tell about life in the old country in the good old days. Oh, the Emerald Fields of Green. I thank you for as much as you’ve revealed, as you’ve concealed, from my black Irish soul.
I carravaned through Ireland on curvy corkscrews of roads at forty years old, with my babes and husband and mother in tow, and found myself in Galway, enigmatized by the landscape and townscapes of that Western county; and didn’t know until then, that’s where my father’s grand-father’s family derived. Nor did I know that’s where the wild Spaniards and Portuguese landed and traded for centuries far-gone. Black Irish, I discovered, I am, then.
And then, discovered the violent fire of righteous warfare that burns in me, despite all attempts of family and civility to douse such flames. But for their life as refugees, as emigrees from a simmering and molten land of long-borne hostilities, I would’ve burned at a stake in a bonny bonfire before I’d ever married. And most likely for the love of one in the enemied camp.
My mother thought it would be of note to reveal to me at my 40th birthday, that her kin were IRA bomb-blasting builders. I stopped the car at the edge of a field on a backroad between Crossmaglen (the serious IRA bunker) and Newtownhamilton to explain I’d known this for decades, and to thank her for she & my father having the sense to get out, then rear us in America, so I never did get tarred&feathered as a young woman in the North in the ’70s. She was shocked at my phlegmatic appreciation of all matters. Little did she realize, that on my drive through the lower county back-roads to fetch her that afternoon, I’d gotten lost and was interrogated by an older man about my identity, relations and whereabouts before he allowed me to drive up the road past his farm to retrieve her. It was 1999. He was carrying a rifle, and most likely a pistol in his jacket pocket. He knew my parents’ families and asked me to describe my father’s grandparents home, to prove my authenticity, then he let me pass. Northern Ireland had been in peace negotiable truce-mode for a long while by then. And I knew, knew, knew in my flesh and bones that this war was merely still; still simmering below the gloss-newsed surfaces of all.
Simmering like curses in Maryann McGinn’s cauldron at the end of the last lane near the border where the elves and fairies flew, for all they knew, and told me when I was a child. Or, so the relatives had always whispered, whilst painting romantic pictures of the old home they’d deigned to escape.
There were wild dogs there, the day I drove to Maryann McGinn’s. Gnarling through a gate as I snapped photos at her ghost, and showed them to my mother later to prove there was never anyone strange as she there, but the ones about her who told monstrous fairy tales about her to feed the mythic gossip. Her kin had chained the wild dogs there, since Maryann had passed.
I returned to a life in America, replete with Cruinthed dreams of Portugal and Amsterdam, and with my tar and feathers barely glimpsed back to the bogs I was borne from … except on rare foggy days with a gauzy twilight o’er the greens. Those days aren’t as rare now, as they used to be. Babes fly out of prams into ditches on drunken confessional Saturday evenings in drizzle convoluted to youths bearing arms from the same trenches, all borne in secrecy in the deep pockets of their elders.
June Tabor, Finnisterre (The End of the Earth).
It’s the Westernmost area of Spain, slightly beneath Ireland across the wildest course of the Atlantic, which then flows into the civilized ports of Europe. These ports, I vaguely recall, via my trips with Cruinthe.
Astrology, Celtic, Past Lives, The War